Chess in Movies

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (as called in the USA and India)

In the first Harry Potter film, chess plays an important part. Harry, Hermione, and Ron are searching for a magic stone to protect it from being stolen and used by the evil Lord Voldemort. The greatest obstacle is a giant chess set, in which enemy pawns will not let them pass before they play a dangerous game.

The three children must use themselves as three of the chess pieces, with Ron Weasley a knight who sits on a horse. It would appear to be childish fun, except that this is Wizards’ Chess, a game in which captured pieces are smashed into bits, into pieces in a different sense.

Real Wizards' Chess in Harry Potter movie

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s Stone)


In the 1942 film Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart plays the part of Rick, an owner of a club in a big city in Morocco, northwest Africa, during World War II. An early scene includes Rick working his way through an opening variation of chess by himself.

Chess & Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca"

Dangerous moves are ahead, contending with Nazis in Casablanca

The movie soon leaves the complexities of chess for complex political issues in an African country in which players on both sides of the war must live together in a peace filled with tension. One faulty move can lead to a swift and decisive demise.



Chess in the Movies

Many film fans remember the  scene near the beginning of  Casablanca. We see Rick’s hand by the chess board as he taps the white bishop.


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